Ep 66 How to say goodbye with Jackie Bailey, author of The Eulogy

Jackie Bailey Eulogy author James Ashley Stay Home podcast

How do you work through a major edit on your book when you have a traumatic brain injury? And how do you write about the death of a loved one while you’re grieving? Jackie Bailey, author of debut novel The Eulogy and professional deathwalker, joins us to discuss her experience with both.

Jackie Bailey is a professional writer and researcher and a recognised international expert on cultural diversity in the arts. She has a Creative Writing PhD from UNSW and is on the Board of Merrigong Theatre Company. Jackie is also an ordained interfaith minister, trained deathwalker and practising funeral director. The Eulogy is her debut novel.

In episode 66, we return to the question of when and how to fictionalise your own life in writing. In Jackie’s case, she describes her novel as 70 per cent true to life, 30 per cent fictionalised.

Books and authors discussed in this episode
– ‘In life, my sister taught me how to love. In death, she made me want to fix the funeral industry‘ by Jackie Bailey for the Guardian;
Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor;
Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl;
The Smell of Fresh Rain: The Unexpected Pleasures of Our Most Elusive Sense by Barney Shaw;
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck;
Denizen by James McKenzie Watson (featured in ep 60);
– Virginia Woolf;
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller;
How to Be Australian by Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Listen to this episode of James and Ashley Stay at Home here, or on Apple podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, or your favourite podcast app, and find out about past episodes here.


I’ve got a few last upcoming events this year, both in person and online. I’d love to see you there.

Authors Shankari Chandran and Ashley Kalagian Blunt, with cover of novel Song of the Sun God

Afternoon Tea with Shankari Chandran
In conversation with Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Sunday 13 November, 3-4pm
Better Read Than Dead, Newtown
Tix $10

Hear bestselling author Shankari Chandran discuss her latest novel, Song of the Sun God, a sweeping saga, following the lies, misdemeanours, and loves of one family. Spanning three generations, three continents and seven decades the novel explores the ongoing impacts of the Sri Lankan civil war in a universal tale about love and finding a home to call your own. Book here >>

Author Ashley Kalagian Blunt, smiling with purple filter, Iced VoVo earrings, sticker saying author event

The Joy of Creative Writing
Tuesday 15 November, 7.45 to 9 pm AEDT
Online via Zoom
Tix $9-14

Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing.

Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves!

You might be a writer working on a specific project, a poet searching for new ideas, or someone who just wants to give creative writing a try for the first time in years – wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Get your ticket here >>

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